Aussie Budget Gets $4.8 Billion Boost as Turnbull Wins Savingsby
Australian opposition agree on package of laws to cut deficit
Treasurer Morrison says deal will impress ratings agencies
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s bid to rein in a budget deficit has been boosted after the main opposition backed a package of laws that will result in A$6.3 billion ($4.75 billion) of savings.
The government has secured agreement from the Labor Party for its so-called omnibus bill to pass in the Senate, where the ruling Liberal-National coalition lacks a majority, Turnbull told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
“This demonstrates that we are delivering on our economic plan,” he said in a joint briefing with Treasurer Scott Morrison Tuesday. “With goodwill and good faith, working across the aisle, we can deliver results in this parliament.”
A year after seizing power from Tony Abbott in a Liberal lawmaker vote, Turnbull’s political fortunes have ebbed after leading the government to a narrow victory in a July election. S&P Global Ratings cut the outlook on Australia’s AAA credit score in July to negative from stable, saying the poll result potentially dented the government’s prospects for shrinking a deficit forecast to reach A$37.1 billion next year.
As part of the omnibus bill negotiations, Labor leader Bill Shorten told reporters in Canberra he secured A$800 million in funding over five years for the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, which helps pay for solar and wind-energy projects.
Asked by a reporter whether passing the bill would bring the budget back into balance, Treasurer Morrison said: “It helps, but it doesn’t resolve the issue.”
The deal demonstrates that the government “can get savings through the parliament,” he said. “That is a very good story for me to be able to take to New York to the ratings agencies.”